Manhole Covers XXI

Japanese drain covers - Drainspotting in Japan: Beppu, Ehime, Fukuoka, Hyogo, Hiroshima, Tottori, Yamaguchi

Japanese manhole covers, which come in a variety of designs depending on their locality in Japan, utility type and the manufacturer of the manhole cover, have caught the imagination of a growing number of "drainspotters" from around the world.

A quick search on Google reveals the increasing number of tribute sites and the popularity of the cult of the manhole.

Japan's manhole covers often include a symbol specific to an area or town as part of the overall design. In Kyoto, a turtle (a symbol of wisdom and longevity) is the main motif, in addition local landmarks, festivals or flora and fauna can all be incorporated into these works of art under our feet.

If you have a manhole cover shot and wish to have it displayed on this page please contact us.

Manhole cover in Uwajima, Ehime.
Uwajima in Ehime on Shikoku is home to the Ushi Oni, (Demon Cow), dance
Chuya Nakahara was a Japanese poet of the early 20th century born in Yamaguchi  who was known by his distinctive hat.
Chuya Nakahara was a Japanese poet of the early 20th century born in Yamaguchi who was known by his distinctive hat

Yukuhashi, a small coastal city in NE Fukuoka Prefecture.
Yukuhashi, a small coastal city in north east Fukuoka Prefecture

Manhole cover in Himeji, Hyogo.
White egret design on Himeji manhole cover. Himeji Castle has the nickname White Egret Castle

With Yashima in the background, this Takamatsu City design features Nasu no Yoichi shooting at a fan in a scene from the Heike Monogatari.
With Yashima in the background, this Takamatsu City design features Nasu no Yoichi shooting at a fan in a scene from the Heike Monogatari

Manhole cover in Sakaiminato, Japan.
Neko Musume, a monstrous cat from Sakaiminato's Mizuki Shigeru, the famous manga and anime artist

Manhole cover in Hiroshima, Japan.
Origami cranes made famous by Hiroshima's Sadako Sasaki

Manhole cover in Miyazaki, Kyushu, Japan.
The city bird of Nichinan City in Miyazaki, Kyushu, the kingfisher

Manhole cover in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan.
Bush Clover & Canna Lily, two flowers on Beppu's collection of floral manholes

Manhole cover in Fujidera, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Fujiidera in Osaka featuring blossoms of the city tree, the Plum